“The Dunbartonshire office is bursting with excitement as their Administrator, Gemma, got engaged over the weekend! We wish Gemma and Zengani all the best for the future! Congratulations!”
There is long standing trusted links between Perthshire and Poland. During WWII, the first Polish troops reach Scotland on 5 August 1940. At the time, Scotland was completely unprotected against invasion and under real threat of German attacks, and the newly-arrived Poles were warmly welcomed. They immediately set to work defending Scotland. There was, however, no military infrastructure to accommodate them and they were left, largely to their own devices, to live in tents, build their own camps, patrol the coastline and build coastal defences. These Polish Service men and women made a lasting impression in Scotland during those early years.
In September 1940 the Polish authorities in Scotland had expressed a wish for a special consecrated plot in a cemetery for the burial of members of their forces. As there was a substantial number of Polish troops in Perthshire, Wellshill Cemetery in Perth was chosen and it is the largest of the many burial grounds in Scotland in which Polish soldiers were laid to rest.
In light of this historic national link and given the Polish family roots of our Care Manager Aga, we thought it would be fitting for our Perth office to mark Poland’s Constitution Day, which falls on the 3rd May every year. (Swieto Konstytucji 3 Maja). It is a Polish national and public holiday that celebrates the declaration of the Constitution of 3rd May 1791. To celebrate, the Perth office had a Polish-themed day! The pictures shows our Manager, Agnieszka Gorak, in traditional Polish dress with red and white flowers, the national colours.
Find our more about Poland’s Constitution Day here.
We are delighted that our Perth service upon it recent annual inspection received a Grade 6 (Excellent) for its service to clients! Comments from the Perth service’s inspector Neil Morrison include talking of a ‘superb’ service, ‘can’t fault it’!
The branch was particularly praised for its effective and natural daily communication with clients and how it goes to great lengths to make sure each care package is carefully put together and clients are always delighted with the service. It was highlighted how effectively the consistency was working well in terms of outcome for clients and that the core team approach to each care package was paramount to that success.
All clients without exception offered up very favourable comments to the management of the service and how happy they were with it. Care staff also commented on how much they feel valued and listened to and included in the day to day development of the service.
A huge well done to Aga and the team in Perth!
Tim Cocking recently spoke at the Rotary Club of Dunblane and Bridge of Allan. Below is the write up which made it into the Stirling Observer.
Care of the elderly may seem an unusual profession for a young man. But, in an illuminating talk to the Bridge of Allan and Dunblane Rotary Club on Thursday, Tim Cocking traced how his career path had led him to setting up Brightcare, a company providing this specialist care.
Having worked on a building site for two years after leaving school, Tim followed this with a short period in University, which he didn’t find satisfying. This led to him working in a letting agency in Edinburgh, which encouraged Tim to look for a business opportunity that would be fulfilling. In 2006, an opportunity arose to work in a care home in Dunbar, and the die was cast. He found the work very satisfying, and he also saw a business opportunity – the challenge to provide a service to elderly people who wish to stay in their homes, but who need a range of support to allow them to do so. Aged 24, and with the help of his wife, he set up Brightcare to provide this support, initially in Edinburgh. The rest, as they say, is history: seven years later the company has five offices, the latest in Bridge of Allan, now employing 180 support staff. Some 350 families are benefiting from the care thus provided.
Brightcare is a private company, independent from state provision, offering in-house care and companionship for which those receiving the service make payment. Tim outlined the levels of cost of this service which, in many instances, can be provided at a level competitive with the cost of a care home, but with the great benefit of allowing the elderly person to remain at home in familiar surroundings. The support provided is scaled to meet individual needs, including, increasingly, the on-set of dementia.
Tim stressed that Brightcare has a focus on doing things well. His goal has been to establish a positive culture in the business with an emphasis on ensuring that the care provided is of the highest standard. This relies on the recruitment of staff motivated to give the desired level of support in a caring relationship. The duties undertaken by staff are not task driven; they are in response to individual needs. To ensure its continuing effectiveness, the company has to be agile, able to respond effectively to changing demands. To achieve this, staff receive on-going training in the company’s own training facility.
Inevitably, there are challenges, with increasing regulation of provision, and a demand that exceeds supply. But there are compensations: it is very satisfying when the care provided is able to allow an elderly person to stay at home, and when the benefits of this are obviously appreciated.
Following questions, Peter Holmes, Speaker’s Host, reflected on the challenges faced by Tim in building a successful business and ensuring that its standards are maintained. He congratulated Tim on his achievements and thanked him for an excellent presentation, a sentiment echoed by members.
There will be a meeting on 13 April in the Westlands Hotel, Doune Road, at 6.00 for 6-30pm. The speakers will be Pierre Leger and Andrew Watson from Strathearn Cheese. Visitors are always very welcome to meetings. Anyone interested in attending should contact the Club Secretary, Iain Fraser at email@example.com. Tel: 01786 822751. More information can be found on the Club website: www.dunblanerotary.org.uk or the Facebook site: www.facebook.com/dunblanerotary.
On Friday 24th March, our lovely colleagues in the other Bright Care offices kindly manned our phones so that everyone from the Edinburgh Office and Central Team could take time out for an afternoon of bowling and pizza. We wanted to celebrate and reflect on a busy first few months of 2017, the highlight of which was passing our Care Inspection with brilliant scores. We achieved fives across the board, and had only positive feedback from our clients. So, we headed over to Fountain Park and nominated the two men of the office to be team captains. It seemed like Al’s team had all been practising as they managed to beat Tim’s team in both games! Regardless of the score, we had a great time and no injuries were sustained, despite a bowling ball going backwards at one point! Although, the next day some of us had pain in muscles we didn’t even know existed! After all that strenuous activity, we had worked up a good appetite, and all our healthy eating was forgotten as we tucked into some delicious pizza. We all really enjoyed spending time as a group away from the office, and thankfully the competition stayed friendly! We appreciated Tim and Annie organising the afternoon out for us, and are looking forward to our next activity- we are thinking maybe go-karting!
Aga from our Perth office has completed the Dementia Champion Programme provided by the University of the West of Scotland. It is in conjunction with the Scottish Government, the NHS, Alzheimer Scotland and the Scottish Social Services Council. The programme was devised to provide help and support to friends and families of people who have been diagnosed with dementia. As part of the programme, Perth office is piloting a ‘getting to know me’ form. This form has proved to be extremely useful on admission to hospital. It can speed up diagnosis, reduce stress to the patient and helps to organise the correct care and support on the ward.
Our Edinburgh Office recently hosted an Easter Eggstravaganza! We invited clients, carers and family members to come and join us in the office to celebrate Easter and welcome Spring. It was also a great opportunity to either meet the team for the first time, or have a proper catch up. We planned a fun packed afternoon full of Easter themed activities, hot drinks and plenty of chocolate. A great time was had by all, decorating and rolling eggs, colouring in Easter themed pictures, and of course eating far too much chocolate! We really enjoyed seeing everyone who came along, and would encourage all our valued clients, carers and family members to pop into the office at any time for a cup of tea and a catch up. There are probably still a few chocolate eggs left that we didn’t find at the Easter Egg hunt!